Feast Day : November 19
Pontian was from Rome, the son of Calpurnius. He succeeded St. Pope Urban I as bishop of Rome on July 21, 230. Pontian presided over the synod at Alexandria, which condemned Origen. In 235, Emperor Maximinus the Thracian began a persecution of Christians aimed chiefly at the heads of the Church. One of its first victims was Pontian, who was banished to the mines on the island of Sardinia. In order to make possible the election of a new pope, Pontian resigned on September 28, 235. St. Hippolytus was banished to Sardinia along with Pontian. Up until this time Hippolytus had persisted in his claim to be bishop of Rome, in other words, had stood as an antipope. However, while in exile he became reconciled with the recognized Church, and his schism ended. Pontian and Hippolytus died in Sardinia, though it is not known when. Pope St. Fabian (r. 236–50) had their relics brought to Rome. Pontian was buried in the papal crypt of the Catacomb of Callistus on August 13, 354.